Student Perspective: RaKesha Gray

RaKesha Gray is a sophomore majoring in English.

St. John Lateran Basilica

St. John Lateran Basilica

Ten days in Italy created memories worth a lifetime! I shamefully admit that in high school, I had no real interest in studying abroad. Even though I had been exposed to stories from my parents and friends of the family who had traveled abroad, I always thought of it as being uncomfortable for half of year in a foreign place.

I’ve always enjoyed traveling, but I did not realize the options of studying abroad until I got to CBU. I sat through a session in the summer. Dr. Forsdick and students passionately shared their experiences, and that passion must have transferred directly to me. I learned of the best opportunity ever dealing with studying abroad. There was a chance to take a class (The Chemistry of Cooking), get to know students, and then travel with them to enjoy a foreign place for about ten days. How cool! It dispelled my fear of being totally uncomfortable. Short study trips are a great segue for first time international travelers. However, I now have the excitement and courage to study abroad for a whole semester.

Lighting in Dozza

Lighting in Dozza

Being in Italy allowed me to experience the taste of authentic pasta, gelato, and pizza. (The pizza and gelato class was even more awesome!)  Being out of the country allowed me to realize how big the world is and what a small place I occupy in it. I also realized that despite language and cultural differences, we all smile the same. We all want to enjoy life.

I had not financially prepared to go on this trip, but a little faith and willpower took me a long way; literally. I learned to budget and to ask others for help. I am very appreciative for the generosity of family, friends, and church members. I am blessed to have been supported with monetary gifts and words of traveling wisdom.

The overall process of traveling abroad is indescribable, but I know it makes one grow up. I could go on and on about how life changing it was, but that doesn’t even touch the surface. If you want to be rich one day, study abroad. Traveling is truly the investment that pays. I agree with the saying it’s the only service you pay for that makes you so rich. In what ways is my life now richer? You’ll have to study abroad to find out.